Interview with Austėja Linartaitė, President 2016-2017

On Tuesday this week, the students of EEB2 were faced with choosing their president for the coming school year. Both candidates made compelling speeches expressing their motivation and goals for the upcoming year. With a small difference of 14 votes, the students elected Austeja their president for this year. What happens now? We asked when we talked with Austėja about her plans for the coming year. 

What is your first order of business now that you have been elected?

My first order of business is to collectively design a plan for this year with all members of the CDE, compare my own aims with those of others, and try to set realistic goals, at the same time keeping in mind all the suggestions proposed by the students. I believe that if we create a plan and stick to it, we will manage to accomplish more goals and make school life better in all aspects for everybody. 

What changes do you plan to make in the coming weeks/months?

In my first meetings I would like to mention the issues of the Exit Cards, the Study Room and all other matters that are important to all members of our school. I would also like to begin work on the 3/4 preau as soon as possible and install all the basic amenities in the bathrooms. Setting up the coordinators for the groups will allow us to start on projects such as eco initiatives, Amnesty fundraisers, Leisure Team events and of course a working group to create the new school jumpers! I think if we start off the term productively, it will allow this year's CDE to accomplish as much as possible and make a real difference. 

How do you feel about the 14 vote difference between yourself and Gustavs?

I think the small vote difference is a great indication of how motivated and passionate both myself and Gustavs are about all school matters and I believe this could be clearly felt in both of our speeches. The good thing about the way these elections are organised is that those who do not get the position of president still remain in the CDE and can still continue working on their proposed projects. Gustavs' ideas were absolutely wonderful and extremely beneficial to the school, and I will do all that I can to help him make them a reality. We are all one student body and one student committee, and simply because somebody wins by the number of votes does not mean that the suggestions of others become invalid - on the contrary, we move past this and look for solutions together.

How will you handle your work as president and the tasks of a 7th year? 

I do not necessarily think that 7th year is special in its increased workload and difficulty. Of course, you need to apply to universities, keep your grades up, but every year has its difficulties and hurdles you have to jump. My main belief is that it is your attitude towards the work that matters. You can either choose to spend your time complaining about how you are always busy and have no time for anything, or you can tell yourself that I want to do this, I will do this and this motivation automatically makes time for all your activities. Prior to my decision to put forth my candidature I asked myself the same question, but in the end I realised that if I truly want it, I will make time for it. All you have to do is put yourself in the right mind frame. It's as simple as that!

What would you like to say about your coming year as president to the students of eeb2?

I am beyond excited to work with all of you to make all of your suggestions and ideas come true! I really care about your well-being and happiness, and just know that all that you say is taken into consideration. Please, do not hesitate to come and talk to me or any other members of the CDE. We are here to help you - this is my number one priority this year. I am very honoured that you have voted for me, and I hope to truly make a difference in your daily school lives. Here's for a great year, full of change and opportunity!

by Emilie Kerstens

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